Chemical Engineering, Ph.D. | NYU Tandon School of Engineering

Chemical Engineering, Ph.D.

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Chemical Engineering

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Chemical engineering is part of a rapidly expanding field that requires interdisciplinary engineers educated in both the molecular and medical sciences. For every discovery made in the health and industrial sectors, a chemical engineer finds a way to develop and implement it on a large scale.

The Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering program at the School of Engineering prepares you to fulfill that role. Our curriculum offers an advanced course of study to refine your research skills, and we teach you the problem-solving skills to surmount any problem along the way.

Our Ph.D. program in Chemical Engineering is designed to outfit you with expert knowledge of the field’s core fundamentals as well as the latest research in its subtopics. By doing so, we further your specialization beyond a master’s degree, helping you achieve superior competence in a minor topic within chemical engineering.

Ph.D. candidate, Parker Lewis, provides an introduction to Tandon and the CBE Department


Admission Requirements

A BS degree in chemical engineering or a related field of science or engineering is generally required for admission to graduate study. If you earned a bachelor’s degree from a foreign institution, you must submit Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and TOEFL scores. Applicants with degrees in other fields or from other colleges may be admitted with undergraduate or graduate deficiencies as evaluated by the graduate adviser. You will need to have had at least one course in differential equations.

Find out more about Admission Requirements.

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Urban Science Doctoral Track

Tandon Ph.D. students can specialize their studies in chemical engineering with a focus on urban science through the new doctoral track offered by the Center for Urban Science + Progress.


Each doctoral candidate must complete a minimum of 75 credits of academic work past the bachelor’s degree, including a minimum of 36 credits of dissertation research, to complete the Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering program. A minimum of 30 graduate credits beyond the bachelor’s degree (not including Ph.D. dissertation and non-dissertation research credits) are required in chemical engineering or related subjects. Of the 30 credits, 12 are to be taken as part of the required graduate core courses in Chemical Engineering and 18 are taken as electives. For electives: at least 3 electives (9 credits) are to be chosen from approved CBE courses, 6000-level and above. The remaining electives need to be selected in consultation with and with the explicit approval from the chemical engineering graduate adviser. In addition to the required coursework, attendance is required at departmental colloquia.

Students must also pass a comprehensive qualifying examination in chemical engineering and present a doctoral dissertation. The qualifying exam is given once a year. Additional details on the qualifying examination will be provided by the graduate adviser.

To meet graduation requirements, students must have an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, excluding dissertation credits, and must not obtain a grade of C or lower in more than two required core courses.

A student who has earned graduate level credits and/or been awarded an MS degree should consult with the graduate adviser for course registration and possible credit transfer.

Candidates for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering should plan their programs in accordance with the following requirements:

3 Credits Applied Mathematics in Engineering CBE-GY6153
This course covers mathematical formulation of chemical engineering problems in terms of ordinary, partial differential and differential equations. Topics include solutions of boundary and initial value problems using Green's functions and other techniques; characterization of second-order partial differential equations and properties of their solutions; asymptotic methods and numerical techniques.
Prerequisite: MA-UY 2122 and MA-UY 2132 or adviser's approval.
3 Credits Transport Phenomena CBE-GY6333
The topics in this course include vector analysis review; diffusive fluxes; conservation equations for chemical species and thermal energy; boundary conditions; scaling and approximation techniques; solution methods for conduction and diffusion problems; transient unidirectional diffusion and conduction; momentum diffusion and viscous stress; conservation equation for momentum and the Navier-Stokes equations; unidirectional and lubrication flows; and low- and high-Reynolds number flows.
Prerequisite: CBE-UY 3313 or adviser's approval.
3 Credits Chemical Reactor Analysis and Design CBE-GY6813
The topics in this course include trends and issues in modern reactor design; kinetics of complex homogenous and heterogeneous reactions: determination of nonlinear kinetic parameters, effects of transport processes, and catalyst deactivation; analysis and design of reactors; laminar flow reactors; dispersion model; split boundary condition problems; effects of non-ideal flow on conversion; and fixed-bed, fluidized-bed and multiphase reactors.
Prerequisite: CBE-UY 3223 or adviser's approval.
Seminar in Chemical & Biology Engineering CBE-GY9910
Recent developments in chemical and biomolecular sciences and engineering are presented by engineers and scientists from industry and academia. Four semesters are required for PhD candidates.
Seminar in Chemical & Biological Engineering CBE-GY9920
Chemical Laboratory Safety CM-GY5040
This course discusses problems of health and safety in chemical laboratories, including how to work safely with dangerous chemicals. This course must be completed by graduate and undergraduate chemistry students before they begin laboratory research.
3 Credits Chemical Engineering Thermodynamics CBE-GY6733
This course is an organized exposition of fundamental concepts of classical thermodynamics and traditional tools that will help chemical engineers understand and analyze systems they are likely to encounter in practice and/or original research. This course is for students who seek a much deeper understanding of classical thermodynamics than a typical undergraduate course provides. Topics include phase, chemical, and reaction equilibria, ideal and non-ideal solutions, stability of thermodynamic systems and thermodynamics of surfaces..
Prerequisite: CBE-UY 3153 or adviser's approval.

Seminar in Chemical & Biology Engineering CBE-GY9910
Recent developments in chemical and biomolecular sciences and engineering are presented by engineers and scientists from industry and academia. Four semesters are required for PhD candidates.
Seminar in Chemical & Biological Engineering CBE-GY9920

These two courses (CBE-GY 9910/CBE-GY 9920) must be taken each semester. 

At least three electives (9 credits) must be chosen from approved CBE courses, 6000-level and above.

The remaining courses may be chosen from other graduate programs with the approval of the graduate adviser in chemical engineering.

PhD Dissertation in Chemical and Biological Engineering CBE-GY999X
Theses for the PhD degree must give results of independent investigations of problems in chemical engineering and may involve experimental or theoretical work. Theses must show ability to do creative work and must show that original contributions, worthy of publication in recognized journals, are made to chemical engineering. Candidates are required to take oral examinations on thesis subjects and related topics. Doctoral-degree candidates must submit five unbound thesis copies to advisers before or on the seventh Wednesday before commencement.
Prerequisite: Adviser's approval and students must have passed the doctoral qualifying examination.

36 Credits total, each 3 Credits

Research in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering CBE-GY998X
Dissertation research for PhD students who have not completed their qualifying examination. No more than a maximum of 9 credits can be taken or counted toward the PhD dissertation. Minimum registration is 3 credits. Prerequisites: Admission into the CBE PhD degree program & consent of PhD academic and thesis advisors.

Up to 9 credits of CBE-GY 998X Research in Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering can be included here.

Please peruse the guidelines for NYU-Tandon Chemical Engineering PhD students. All students are required to read this document and are responsible for abiding by the herein stated deadlines and rules.

Here is the evaluation rubric for proposal defense, annual progress meeting, data defense, or thesis defense

After completion of your program, sign up for our PhD Exit Survey, to provide confidential feedback on your experience in the Chemical Engineering Ph.D. program.